Oh it’s okay, he’s not wrong about god or gods, Evolution, Genetics, Biology, the age of the Earth, and a whole heap of other stuff. He’s smack on the money on all that.
But he is dead wrong about religion—specifically, the one he himself was nominally raised in, the Church of England, aka the Anglican Church or even (euphemism puts bums on pews) the Episcopalian Church. In Scotland we call those the ‘Piskies’ by the way.
Dawkins makes the very sound observation that what religion you have—if you have one—is likely to be the same as the one your parents had. It’s a function of culture and peer pressure. It’s bit galling, therefore, that he seems to avoid applying the same standards to himself. Of course, he has no religion, being an atheist, but while he describes Islam as being ‘a very great evil’ in a television interview, he describes Anglicanism as ‘benign’.
Benign? You what? Well, I think that he’s probably right enough about Islam, which desperately needs top-to-bottom reformation, but he is utterly wrong about Anglicanism. It’s about as benign as a bunch of Rangers supporters after getting cuffed by the Hoops.
Clearly the good Professor has not lately been to Africa, the continent he was actually raised in, to see what the ‘benign’ Anglican Church has been getting up to there. A list of African countries, under the influence of local Anglican Bishops, have been ruthlessly persecuting anyone whose gender identity or sexuality does not meet the Church’s approved standards.
Now, before going on, I want to make it clear that my position is and always has been, that it is no damn business of anyone else’s, and certainly not the State’s, what consenting adults do with each other behind closed doors. I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business what they do in public either, within reason. As long as everyone is of the age of consent, and no-one else is harmed, it’s no-one else’s concern, end of, full stop, period. So that’s where I come from.
So let’s take a look now at what the ‘benign’ Anglican Church has actually been up to, shall we?
In Uganda, the Anglican hierarchy has been pushing a law that would have sentenced homosexuals to the death penalty. This clause was withdrawn after Western countries threatened to withdraw aid to Uganda, and was replaced with life imprisonment instead. We are so unimpressed that it almost hurts.
Mark you, this is for ‘aggravated homosexuality’ where the person has offended multiple times. So being gay is something you do for once and then forget, huh? Masked under a false claim to be about reducing the spread of AIDS (which is largely a consequence of unprotected heterosexual sex in Africa anyway) this law is, plain and simply, about forcing the sick morality of Anglican christianity on the rest of society.
It might be worth noting here, that Thailand, which in the late 20th century had an AIDS epidemic, has drastically cut the incidence, not by locking gay people up for life or even hanging them, as the Anglican Bishops originally desired, but by a public education campaign encouraging people to use condoms and practise safe sex.
But of course the church couldn’t have that, now could it? That might incite people to have sex! Better persecute the gays, lesbians and transfolk instead. The hypocrisy is staggering.
Just this month, Anglican Bishop Nicodemus Okile, a notorious bigot, demanded again that the anti-gay law should be pushed through forthwith.
Benign, Professor Dawkins? You’ve got to be kidding.
In Nigeria, where transpeople and gays are routinely beaten, often to death, and frequently by or with the collusion of the authorities, Archbishop Peter Akinola, retired Anglican Primate, earlier this year demanded that laws be enacted that would make any ‘gathering’ of gay or trans people a criminal offence, again with draconian penalties. The current Primate of the Anglican Church of Nigeria, Nicholas Okoh, has condemned homosexuality and gay rights, describing them as ‘evil and works of the devil that must not be allowed to exist in Nigerian society.’
Other African countries with vicious anti LGBT laws, supported by the Anglican church, include Kenya, Tanania, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
And it’s not just in Africa that the horrible influence, of the church that likes to be best known for garden fetes, leaks out of the woodwork like pus. Just this month, the Indian Supreme court threw the country into uproar be upholding an unconstitutional anti-gay law that had been put into the Indian Penal Code over a hundred years ago by guess whom? Why the Anglicans, those benign people, of course.
Elsewhere in the world, Anglicans are notorious for their evangelising ‘missionary’ work, attempting to eradicate wholesale the local culture wherever they find it and replace it with the barren, sad cult of the desert sky-god and his alleged offspring. This cultural imperialism goes on today and is funded not by renegade African bishops, but by the mainstream Anglican community.
At the same time, back in the UK, Anglican evangelicals are once again trying to push their agendas in schools, corrupting young minds with their dogma and prejudice.
Benign? This is benign?
Anglicanism, like all evangelising religions, is a cancer. It may not be the most virulent form, but it attempts to pervert every society it infects. It has never hesitated to use force, including lethal force, to coerce the people unfortunate enough to have to suffer it, to submit to its will. It clings on to its undemocratic and unelected influence in government wherever it can, and uses the power that gives it to further the ends of its elite cabal. It calls the destruction of other cultures ‘virtuous’ and disdains the idea of free will—instead attempting to indoctrinate children from the age of five or younger, and that not in just in remote corners of the world, but in the country that invented it, England.
Professor, if this is ‘benign’ I dread to imagine what you might call ‘malignant.’
I have long been an admirer of your work both as a scientist and as an educator. This complaint may seem petty in the grand scale of your illustrious career. But for many, many hundreds of thousands of people all over the world, the Anglican Church is a horrific instrument of hatred and condemnation that would kill, torture or imprison them, just for loving each other. I would really appreciate it if you would re-examine the behaviour of the Anglican Church, and, I would hope, publicly condemn the abuse of human rights being perpetrated by it.